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Soft play, York Art Gallery

Art galleries sometimes find it difficult to engage very young visitors with paintings. This example of a site-specific soft-play installation challenges that, however. York Art Gallery commissioned a textile artist to create a version of the view in the painting behind that’s safe for little ones to play on, complete with toy boats. It’s a beautiful example of how families with the youngest visitors can be made to feel part of the museum as well as the rest of us.

The original, Port Goulphar, Belle-Ile-en-Mer by Gustave Loiseau, is visible in the background. The assumption that children under the age of two can’t interact with this painting is complete baloney.